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Spinning wheel from Chapter 5

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864).
The Scarlet Letter. New York: Printed by Edwin and Robert Grabhorn for Random House, 1928.
Call Number: (SPL) PS 1868 .A1 1928
Gift of Loryn Romadka, from the collection of Austin F. Lutter.
Special Collections, Golda Meir Library

Title page of The Scarlet Letter

Limited edition limited of 980 copies. The Grabhorn Press was founded in San Francisco in 1919 by brothers Edwin and Robert Grabhorn, formerly of Indiana. For over thirty-five years, the press was recognized for the high quality and simple beauty of its work, assuring the Grabhorns a prominent place in the history of American fine-press printing.

Illustrator Valenti Angelo had come to Northern California at age eight from his native Italy. A largely self-taught artist, he accepted employment at the Grabhorn Press. He collaborated with the Grabhorns over a six year period, adding his woodcuts to some of the Press' most acclaimed work, notably Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass (1930).

Valenti Angelo designed and engraved the woodcuts for this fine edition of The Scarlet Letter, printed by the Grabhorns for Random House in 1928. His woodcuts appear at the chapter headings, and would classify more readily as designs than as illustrations. Valenti Angelo went on to a lengthy career in the book arts, designing and illustrating several works for The Limited Editions Club and establishing his own press.


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Prepared by Christopher Barth, Virginia Haas, and Sarah McDaniel